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When are calculators used and what calculators are acceptable?

To find out where a calculator is allowed to be used in our examinations, please check our additional materials database (UK) / (International) as well as the relevant syllabus on our website.

Where the use of calculators is allowed in examinations, calculators used must not be able to manipulate algebra; they must be purely numerical integration/differentiation. Calculators with any of the following facilities are prohibited, unless specifically stated otherwise in the syllabus:

  • graphic display
  • data banks
  • dictionaries or language translators
  • retrieval or manipulation of text or formulae
  • QWERTY keyboards
  • built-in symbolic algebraic manipulations
  • symbolic differentiation or integration
  • capability of remote communication with other machines.

Whilst graphical calculators are indeed an excellent tool for students to use in class, as part of our assessment we often assess the candidate’s ability to plot graphs accurately, that they understand how to draw a best-fit line, and can correctly calculate a gradient showing their working. These are basic skills, which would not be assessed if candidates were to return an answer from their calculator.

Due to the sheer number of different calculator models available worldwide, we cannot give specific details of which models or makes of calculators are permitted in our exams.

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